A Note from Mary Margaret West: Today we’re sharing an excerpt from the new book A Different College Experience. If you’re looking for a gift for a graduating senior, this is it! We’re all aware of how challenging the transition between high school and college is, so let’s set our students up well and encourage them as they go.
A Different College Experience by Ben Trueblood and Brian Mills
College is filled with opportunities, freedom, decisions, challenges, and, if you’ll allow it, growth. Being proactive, looking ahead, and being somewhat prepared with what you will be faced with can be a game changer for you.
If I could pinpoint one word of advice to you as you experience the college years, it would be to not only have wisdom but also know how to apply wisdom to your life. Wisdom will be what will keep you from falling into the devastating pitfalls of the “college experience.” I know that is easy to say, but what, exactly, does it mean? What is wisdom? How do I apply wisdom to my life? How do I gain wisdom? In this chapter we’re going to look at what God’s Word has to say about wisdom and how to apply it to your life as a college student.
The Beginning of Wisdom
Proverbs 9:10 is clear when it says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” The foundation for wisdom in our lives begins with a fear of the Lord. The fear of the Lord that Proverbs speaks of here is not being afraid of the Lord, as if He’s going to strike you with a lightning bolt. A fear of the Lord is a deep love and respect for God and for His Word. We are to fear the Lord as we would a parent or guardian—those who are placed over us in authority to guide, protect, and discipline us for our own good. God is that authority. His rules and precepts for us to live by are not those of a hateful dictator but those of a caring Father who disciplines those He loves. They are for our protection and benefit. This is foundational for us to understand wisdom. When we fear the Lord and live with a holy, reverent fear of who God is, it changes everything!
This passage in Proverbs clearly tells us that knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment, and fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom. Do you have a holy “fear” of the Lord? If not, ask Him to help you recognize how to continually live with awe and reverence of who He is in light of who you are.
“The college experience” is used by most to recollect a crazy, wild, fun, “free” season of life. For many students, the college experience is all about surviving and just making it through four years with no rules, regulations, or boundaries, all while justifying their questionable life choices by at least maintaining the GPA required to keep their scholarships and appease their parents and professors. Don’t mistake your newfound “freedom” as an opportunity to live without any boundaries. That will always end up in mistakes, sin, and heartache, which ultimately leads to baggage that you could potentially carry with you for the rest of your life.
Learn more more about A Different College Experience